Losing Ground on Women's Rights: In 2011, Sex Ed, Contraception, Abortion Rights All Under Seige
By almost any measure, issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011. In the 50 states combined, legislators introduced more than 1,100 reproductive health and rights-related provisions, a sharp increase from the 950 introduced in 2010. By year’s end, 135 of these provisions had been enacted in 36 states, an increase from the 89 enacted in 2010 and the 77 enacted in 2009. ( Note: This analysis refers to reproductive health and rights-related “provisions,” rather than bills or laws, since bills introduced and eventually enacted in the states contain multiple relevant provisions.)
Fully 68 percent of these new provisions—92 in 24 states—-restrict access to abortion services, a striking increase from last year, when 26 percent of new provisions restricted abortion. The 92 new abortion restrictions enacted in 2011 shattered the previous record of 34 adopted in 2005.
- For summaries of major state-level actions in 2011, click here.
- For a table showing reproductive health and rights-related provisions enacted in 2011, click here.
- For the status of state law and policy on key reproductive health and rights issues, click here.